I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Yoshio Harada with Anli Sugano -- Bright light, in the sea


The late Ken Ogata(緒形拳)was an actor that I first got to know in the biopic "Mishima" and since then I've envisioned him as someone who would play rough-and-tumble salt-of-the-earth characters such as Showa Era fathers and samurai warriors. But I also remember him doing all those Kirin beer commercials to "One" from "A Chorus Line".

In 1983, he played one of those terse characters in the film "Gyoei no Mure"(魚影の群れ...The Catch) as a grizzled veteran fisherman looking for that huge tuna catch to rake in the yen while having to deal with his daughter's city boy fiancé played by Koichi Sato(佐藤浩市). Not that it will ever happen, but I figure that if I ever were put in the situation of meeting a potential father-in-law like Ogata, I would most likely do something that I haven't done since I was three.

How I got to know about "Gyoei no Mure" in the first place was through music, of course. In this case, it was the ending theme for the movie, "Bright light, in the sea", which was a duet between actor/singer Yoshio Harada(原田芳雄)and jazz singer Anli Sugano(アンリ菅野). I introduced Sugano last summer through her "Akujo Street"(悪女ストリート), a track from her debut album whose cover still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I knew about Harada's acting career and I thought that he was in the movie since my impression was that he could also play the tough guys although he would have been pretty young back then. However, Harada, along with Sugano, only provided "Bright light, in the sea" which was a B-side to his 1983 single, "New York Hyouryuu"(ニューヨーク漂流...New York Drift). For a movie about fighting the rough seas, "Bright light, in the sea" is a surprisingly romantic pop ballad along the line of similar ballads that I heard back on the radio here in Toronto such as "The Next Time I Fall" with Peter Cetera and Amy Grant or the Grammy award-winning "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

Harada's singing is something that I've heard on New J Channel and he's got the chops for rock and blues, and I think he had some of that Cocker feeling in his vocals here. The music was by Koji Tamaki(玉置浩二)from Anzen Chitai(安全地帯)which was on its way to fame, and Tamaki can come up with the heart-on-your-sleeve balladry just like that. Meanwhile, lyricist Ryo Shoji(東海林良)was responsible for the words; he was also behind Machiko Watanabe's(渡辺真知子)bouncy "Kuchibiru yo, Atsuku Kimi wo Katare" (唇よ、熱く君を語れ). Kazuo Shiina(椎名和夫)took care of the arrangements.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.